The Sixth Street Bridge

The Sixth Street Bridge
At the tender age of 17, I walked across this bridge, alone, into Downtown Pittsburgh, with $300 in my pocket that my mother had given me to get an abortion. I went into the Fulton Building (in the picture) and did what I was told to do. I didn't have a choice - if I did, I wouldn't have chosen abortion.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Roe v. Wade = Joy v. Sorrow

This past Monday marked my first experience with the March for Life.  The one thing I know for sure at this moment is that it most certainly will not be my last experience.  Which, I have to admit, was one of my biggest fears going in, that I would be so completely traumatized by the event that I would never return, that people would somehow sense  my "postabortiveness" and ridicule me, chastise me, damn me to hell.  I'm happy - no actually relieved and completely ecstatic - to report that I remain intact and unscathed for the most part.

Now, granted, there were a few moments where I thought, okay, this is it, the proverbial other shoe is about to drop - but those moments remained moments and I marched on.

The night before was filled with anxiety and nightmares and much tossing and turning, but I jumped out of bed at 4:45 AM and got some coffee.  I had packed my bag the night before and felt armed with the essentials, iPhone, candy, journal, notes, rosary and few other little treasures that I wanted to take along.  I also had the cards that I had made for the event.  I wasn't fully convinced that I was going to hand them to anyone, but I had them anyway.

When I got in my car to head out into the dark and rainy morning, there was a note from my dear hubby taped to the steering wheel.  It was a reminder from him of how far I've come and also a pep talk to remember all of my accomplishments when faced with any ugliness during the day.  He was quite concerned about my going to the March from the beginning and I love him for it.  Even though I fancy myself a pretty tough cookie who can take care of myself - I have my weaknesses and they were all going to be vulnerable on this day.

I arrived at my parish for the bus pick up time.  I was going with a bunch of people that I know, but like I said before, none of them knew my real motivation for going on the trip.  What I found out throughout the day was that I had chosen my transportation to the March well.  Traveling to the March with a heavy heart and cluttered mind is quickly swept away but a rowdy bunch of youth from our parish school.  Not rowdy in a bad way - just so full of life and happiness and seemingly untouched by the hurts of this world thus far.  It is truly contagious.  As I sat on the bus for the trip, my thoughts often wondered to what I was like at that age and the things I had already waded into and I said a few prayers for those kids around me and hoped that none of them would have to go through what I've gone through. 

Next stop was a Pro Life Youth Mass just outside of D.C. where our own Bishop would be present.  We all unloaded and entered the Church.  The first thing that hit me was the music, beautiful music from live musicians!  Don't get me wrong, I'm in love with my traditional Mass and "folk masses" usually aren't my thing, but there is something to be said for a Youth Mass with live music at the right time and place - and this was that time and place for me.  I was immediately swept up in mere seconds.  I felt something stir within me that I hadn't felt in a very long time. I would argue that I hadn't quite felt it since I drove away from my Rachel's Vineyard retreat weekend two years ago - it was joy, pure joy coming from deep within me somewhere where it remains buried for long stretches of time only bubbling to the surface, unwilling to be contained, at far and in between moments in my life.  At that moment, I felt immediately buoyed and lifted up.

I was happy to see a few familiar faces among the clergy that were scurrying to get ready for the Mass and I spotted one who I knew of but hadn't met personally yet.  Once my group was settled in their seats, I excused myself and ventured back out to the vestibule where they were waiting for another bus to arrive. I have no idea where my courage came from but there was no stopping me now.  I introduced myself to the Priest who I had previously sent my blog link to.  I told him my name as he took my hand.  I quickly and quietly told him who I was and I saw the look of recognition on his face and in his kind eyes.  I'm so thankful that there seem to be at least more than a couple good and holy Priests among us and I keep finding more and more on my journey!  Since I'm basically still "silent" on my whole story in my "real" life, Priests are one of the few who I generally feel safe telling my story to and if they can use my story or my blog to help another woman - mission accomplished!

I turned to go back into the church and there was our Bishop, just standing there alone and waiting without anyone clamoring for his attention. The Holy Spirit was on my tail this day and I felt a distinct shove in his direction. I fumbled with the cards in my pocket and went up and tapped him on the back. He turned around and again I was greeted with His face in the face of this holy Priest, now Bishop. I introduced myself and he asked what Parish I was from. I told him and then I quickly and quietly told him the real reason I was there. As he bent down to listen to me, he took both of my hands in his sacred ones and expressed sorrow for my pain and all that I had been through without even knowing the details! I don't know why I felt the need to tell him - but I did and I'm glad I did. I handed him a few of my "calling cards" and told him about my blog allowing me to be "silent no more." I thanked him as another bus had arrived and went back inside for Mass.

I couldn't believe what I had just done and I couldn't wait to text my husband and let him know that I did it!  The Mass was wonderful.  The Priest who I had introduced myself to gave the homily and it was a good one.  Looking out over that sea of young people, I just felt warm and fuzzy and I haven't done warm and fuzzy for a long time.  It was standing room only and during the consecration I looked around just to see if they were still standing, but nope, about 95% of the young kids were kneeling right on the floor.  I have hope yet that this generation may be the one that turns things around.

The next few hours were kind of blur and I'm still letting a lot of it settle into my soul.  There were several times when the anxiety was welling up and I had to talk myself down.  Our group said a rosary when we were right outside of our drop off point.  As I stepped off the bus, I braced myself for whatever was coming next.  We had to walk for a bit until we found our spot on the lawn in front of the stage where all kinds of congressman and officials were giving short speeches.  It was really raining at this point but the energy of the crowd was tangible.  With each speaker the intensity grew, but something else was growing with it - more joy. 

And as I took a deep breath at the start of each speech waiting to hear about the selfish women who chose abortion, the ones who murdered their children, the ones who deserve no anxiety was for naught.  There was no mention of those women, but plenty of words about the postabortive woman searching for redemption, the one sold a bill of lies about what abortion would really do to her.  That,  my friends, is what's going to enlarge the prolife movement beyond anyone's expectations, if the postabortive women out there, millions of them, feel safe and at home in a crowd of prolifers, they will come. 

The actual March then began and it was bit dicey for a while keeping all of our charges in line and for me, an extra challenge as I'm only so tall and can't see in a crowd to begin with so I picked the tallest gentlemen with us and decided to follow him all day.  I didn't have my hubby who normally leads me through crowds and I don't even have to think about it.  But once the walk smoothed out a bit and got moving, it was just a giant swell of people and there it was again... joy. 

I had thought the March would be somber and gloomy with everyone reflecting on all the babies lost to abortion and horrible mothers who aborted them, but nope.  These people, these young and old, large groups and small, from all over the country were filled with joy, pure, unadulterated, singing, chanting, laughing, joy. 

Then came a slight bump in the road, a few ugly, ugly signs, a few prochoicers... but then a big bump in the road and our trip "captain" warned us before that it was coming.  There in the middle of the March is this giant set up with a giant LED screen of horrible, gut wrenching and graphic pictures streaming on it.  We tried our best to tell our kids not to look at them.  But it was like a train wreck and they couldn't help it.  I couldn't help it.  Then I got angry - why were they allowed to be there?  Aren't they kind of preaching to the choir? I don't think the Marchers needed to see that. 

If I do anything with my story, I hope one day to convince someone that those kind of pictures aren't necessary - maybe they serve some purpose in convincing somebody what abortion really is - but not in that time or that place were they in any way necessary.  That display was followed up by another huge display running almost a full block - same thing - graphic, ugly, pictures.  I don't need the reminder of what happened to my baby.  Just when I thought I was about to lose it and possibly be physically sick... I felt a little tug at my heart saying, "It's okay, it's not about all that."

And you know what, it isn't about all that.  I started thinking about my journey as I marched in that sea of people.  That maybe my journey doesn't need to be about death any more, at least not in that kind of ugly, gruesome, graphic way.  I'm guilty of looking stuff up online just to torture myself.  I read the radical message forums with wing nut bible thumpers that condemn me to hell despite anything I've done in redemption for my sin.  It's as if I'm tempting myself and my faith just to see how strong I really am.

These huge displays on the March were one blip of negative in an ocean of positivity of love and joy and laughter and singing and music.  I was surrounded by more Priests than I've ever seen in my life.  I saw many Sisters as well and not just the retired-teacher variety - these sisters were young with glowing faces even in the dark and deary rain.  And all the young people singing and chanting.  There was a group from a boys academy singing beautifully in four part harmony.  There were bagpipes and chanting and prayers being offered.  There was one bunch of seminarians - at least 50 of them - and I said a quick prayer that they all make it to become Priests. 

Marching up the hill, you can turn around and get a glimpse of just how many people are really there.  When we got up to the Supreme Court, I then began to see the group I most wanted to see.  All of the women from the Silent No More Awareness movement - and there they were, first one or two, then three, then a whole line of them up to the Supreme Court, boldly holding their "I regret my abortion!" signs.  I walked past them and felt bad that I wasn't strong yet enough to do that but I tried not to dwell on it too much.  They were woman of all ages and races and they had all been through what I had been through and this was but a small sample of the millions of us out there.
Our group stopped at the top of the hill to get a picture in front and as we stood still and smiled, the next Silent No More Woman began to speak and her testimony started with, "I had an abortion at the age of 17..."

Okay Lord, I heard you. 
We started our walk back down the hill and now we were right behind the line of post abortive witnesses. I wanted so badly just to reach out to each one and pat them on the back but I couldn't because I was afraid the group I was with would find me out!  I didn't have too much time to feel like a coward as we were in a hurry with our next stop being Union Station for a small break.  Inside there were many more Priests and Sisters.  I gave out my card to some when no one could see me and there were more singing and joyful youth.

We made our way back to our bus when it was all over and I had so many mixed emotions and feelings and didn't think I'd ever get them all sorted out.  I was so busy this week that I haven't had a lot of time to really let it all soak in.  When I got on the bus and got settled in to drive to our next location - dinner - I pulled out my journal and began to jot a few things down.  One thing kept coming to mind - joy.  Time to put the death away.  Time to put the hurt away.  If it comes back up again - just treat it like those ugly displays on the March - temper myself, say a prayer and march on.  Sure there will be times when I feel shame and sorrow and hurt and pain, but they are only temporary because my God is an awesome God and he has forgiven me. 

There were a few more busloads at our dinner location and since I ate by myself and then walked around a bit, I handed out a few more cards.  One Priest who I gave it to with a quick explanation, simply looked at me and said, "this is beautiful."  Yes, it kind of is actually. 

By the time we boarded the bus for the hours ride home, I quickly emailed/texted three people, my hubby to let him know I survived and was okay, my dear Priest who has been there since my first steps of this journey, and a dear Sister who has been there for over half of it.  Then my phone's battery died.  I hear you Lord, I said to myself, the next few hours were not going to be for music in my ears, or texting, or Words with Friends, all I could do was sit back, exhale, and smile.

I spent the ride talking to Jesus, and Mary, and Grace and I wondered where my journey would take me next but I did know for sure that there would be more joy than sorrow from now on.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Infinite Grace Inspiration...

This song has inspired me for a long while.  It was given to me by a kind and holy Sister to whom I am forever grateful for her compassion and loving help on my journey.  I've created a little video for the song with pictures that kind of tell the story of my journey, with the people whose direction, lives, writings and prayers have inspired me and of course Him, without who, none of this would even be possible. 

Infinite Grace...

Thank you for His Grace and for Grace Anne

The Catechism of the Catholic Church 1996 says: Our justification comes from the Grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.

Well, sign me up!

I've always loved the name Grace and it was always in the top 3 on the baby name list with each child that we've had.  But, for some reason (which I now know) it always got bumped.  For a while it was to be the middle name of our youngest, but then it got replaced (for the same reason).  When I started my Project Rachel counseling, my counselor asked me to think about a name for my lost daughter if I didn't have one already.  But, I did have one already...Grace Anne.  I have always known from the very moment that I lost her that she was a "she."  But, her name was revealed to me later in life and I carried it around deep in my heart for a long time before I uttered it aloud.  Oh and what a name - with so much meaning.
Angel of Grace

Along my journey, I've learned so much and a lot of it has been about "grace" itself and "Grace" herself.  I've learned that there is actual grace, sanctifying grace, habitual grace...I'm sure there are many more examples.  But the ones that stick with me are actual grace (movement by God on us) and habitual (the indwelling of God's own Holiness and Divine Nature in our souls).  I've also learned that in order to be with God, we need both kinds of Grace - we need His grace to move us or cause us to act and we need Him to dwell within us at the same time.  I like to think that I need a 3rd kind of Grace, my Grace who dwells within me as well both physically and spiritually and who causes me to act also - perhaps nudging me a bit more when I'm not paying close enough attention.

I beat myself up sometimes when I think I haven't paid enough attention to her or prayed about her enough or thought about her, but she's there and because of where she is - she doesn't hold any of my human weaknesses against me.  I think she just has unabashed, all consuming love for me and for my family here on earth.  I think she watches over all of us and has a special place in her heart for my Mom - who may need her more than I do. 

With the March for Life on Monday, Grace Anne and His Grace are at the forefront of my mind.  I feel her calming me down and bolstering me at the same time.  I feel His Spirit upon me throughout the day and I'm getting better at calling upon them both in those times when I start to feel the waters of doubt and despair sloshing around my ankles.

So for today, and for Monday in case I forget, I want to thank Him for pouring down his sanctifying grace on my unworthy soul with every absolution I've received and every time I've received Him in the Eucharist.  Thank you to all of the people who have held my hand, held me up, and my touched my heart along the way - you know who you are. 

Thank you to my Grace Anne for being with me, when I acknowledge you and when I forget, for every tear I've shed, every rosary I've prayed and for every reparative and redemptive step I've taken up to this point and for all the steps I'll take on Monday with you.

I remain eternally and completely grateful for my rise from the very pit of despair where thoughts of suicide were commonplace to where I am today, still wounded, but healing and aware of His all-encompassing and unabashed love for me and for being reminded of my strength and courage.  I am grateful for the Infinite Grace that has touched my life and guided me on this journey helping me to find where each piece fits in the Child of God I am today and for who I will be on Monday as a silent, prayerful, redemptive witness to what abortion really does to a woman who has one.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Just "Stop It!"

My hubby is constantly telling me (well not so much as telling me because I don't respond to directions all that well), let's say he nudges me and reminds me to look for the positive, stay out of the dark, find the good, the silver lining.  Sometimes it's truly nauseating, really.  There are times when I just want to be left alone in my sulking! I'm getting better though.  I don't sulk nearly as much as I used to in large part because I've figured out what sends me down that path to begin with and I've found some ways to turn myself around.  I'm not 100% successful, but I'm much improved.  As much as I hate to admit it, his words get through to me sometimes, though I will never admit it aloud to him (and the fact that I'm blogging about it doesn't necessarily mean admission either!)

A lot of times what he says resonates with me because I'm open to hearing it, other times it resonates because he pisses me off so badly and in my silent treatment of him afterward, I begin to see what he was talking about.  Along my journey I've collected a handful of "advisers" to help me along the way, each one playing a necessary and perfect part in my healing.  I know who I can turn to to ask for what I need, I have people who know what I need before I ask, and I have people who know that what I'm asking for isn't what I need at all and they offer something else or at least point me in a different direction.
I've been all churned up with the March for Life coming which I still can't really believe I'm going to - even though I'm all signed up.  No one that I'm going with will know why I'm really there.  No one will know the journey that has brought me to that point.  I've questioned why I'm going at all, what's the point, etc., which I'm sure will continue until I'm halfway to D.C.  I'm sure my emotions will be tenuous and I'm coming up with some ideas to deal with them if I need to.  Sometimes, it's music, or prayer, my journal of course, a Priest nearby so I can feel closer to Him - which I've been told there will be no shortage of at the March.  How many times can I ask for a blessing in one day I wonder?

I've decided to wear a bracelet that my Mom gave me for Christmas as my way of taking her along with me.  It's jingles and every time I hear it it, I think of her.  I worry over the state of her soul and if she's confessed to her part in my abortion, but I'm not able to address my concerns so I have to just pray that she has.  But, she'll be with me on my trip as will Grace, hopefully joining me from above and encouraging me and interceding for me throughout the day.
I've come up with some little cards with my blog name on it and my email that I hope to pass out to people I meet if I want.  I figure I can stay mostly anonymous and still get my point across. I'm looking forward to seeing all of the women from the Silent No More campaign.  Their courage astounds me and I'm in awe of their public witness.

But with all that's on my mind and trying to keep it under control, I've read quite a few things that have helped and it always seems I find inspiring words when I need them most.  I've wondered what's the point of my going on Monday.  It's difficult for me to tell other people what to believe or hope in.  Who the hell do I think I am?  And now, having had an abortion, I'm going to go to the March for Life as a witness?  Sometimes it sounds just plain nuts.  But I've discovered that I do have a voice, though anonymously and online for the most part, but I have a purpose in all of this, a positive purpose that has sprung from the very depths of despair.

I've heard more than once from a good and holy Priest that right action leads to right thinking or right thinking leads to right action.   I'll have to check... but I'm pretty sure it's action first b/c for me thinking, or over thinking, tends to hold me back.  Sometimes I need to just do it.  There is a video from MadTV that is one of my husbands' contains much, simple truth that I need to hear sometimes and don't think that he doesn't remind me when necessary.  I'll keep these words in my head on Monday when I feel the fear welling up, the despair at my heels, the doubts creeping and the shadows lurking...

Here's to me getting on the bus Monday morning.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Not only postabortive, but...

Recently on a forum that I visit there was a thread from a gentleman who had married a woman with a "past" and he was asking for advice on how to deal with his wife's "past" which he admitted he knew about before he married her, married her, and now seems not able to deal with it.  I didn't respond to the thread because I probably would have been less than kind and not everyone can be as saintly as my dear hubby.

Over the holidays I had come down with a horrible cold during which time said hubby sent me to bed and took over the household.  Right before the holidays, I had a few anxiety ridden events and hubby was right there to support me, motivate me and kick me in the $#% when necessary.  Over the last week or so I've heard more than a few stories of women completely unhappy in their marriages, one or two to the point of filing the papers.  The point is, my husband gives me daily reminders (usually) of how extremely blessed I am to have him in my life.  No, he's not perfect and also has the ability to drive me completely crazy leading me to threaten physical violence.  (I'm kidding - well sort of, I wouldn't really be able to inflict any real pain). 

One would think after so many years of marriage with a saintly hubby and the blessings he brings that I would be grateful to the point of doing anything and everything for him - and I am and I do, save one thing.  Sex.  That's not to say we don't have it or our marital relations are suffering in any great way, but there are stretches of time where I attempt to completely avoid it all together. Over the span of this healing journey of mine I've come to realize exactly why I do that - it's not sex with my husband that I'm avoiding - it's the anxiety before, it's the mental gymnastics leading up to it, it's the fall out afterwards.  A happy marriage should naturally lead to a happy and satisfying marital sex life.  It's the one thing that husband and wife hold as their own, through all of the every day chaos, the one thing that is theirs to cherish together.  The one space in time where their only purpose it to love and be loved. 

For us, it is as I describe, but for me it only remains so for a precious bit in time.  Our marital relationship does make me happy and loved and truly blessed ... and then the darkness surrounds me, but not entirely, more like a cruel, thick fog that allows me to see just enough to torture myself with - see this is what you can have - but you can't because you are evil and you don't deserve it!  The marital act is haunted by my past and not because my hubby can't deal with it, but because I can't deal with it at least not without it being exhausting and downright painful.  It becomes a fierce battle while I try to tramp down thoughts of my past, images that cloud my mind, memories that float in that I try to push aside. 

All of this is not just because I'm postabortive, it's also because I'm postabortive with a "past."  I've written before in my story about the lack of youthful preparation for any kind of sex life at all and how I never was told my worth from the beginning.  In God's great wisdom, he sent an angel in disguise for me who absolutely knew the importance of sex and the value of it so much so that my hubby has no "past" to speak of except the one we've created together.  Never once in our entire lives together has he ever uttered a cruel or unkind word about my life before he arrived.  Not only that, but he makes himself available for me to talk about my past whenever I need to.  I don't know if I could even do that. 

In my story - I talked about how one would think that after my abortion that my promiscuity and general lifestyle would have changed, or be changed for me by my parents - but it wasn't.  It remained status quo with just as much freedom as I had prior and perhaps even more.  All of that freedom coupled with my now destroyed self esteem led to all kinds of moments over the next few years where boys took advantage, not just sexually, but emotionally and physically, and made me feel like less than nothing.  It was like I had a target on my back for all the wrong boys.  It didn't help that I was most likely looking for the punishment I now felt I deserved.  I sought out people that would fulfill that need and oh did they find me. 

My fear now is that I'm trying so hard to heal, so hard to become closer to Jesus, that snares are being set up to tangle me up in my past.  My hubby isn't tempted to torture me for my past but I sure am.  So I try to pray it away.  I try to pray away all of the feelings that creep in of my unworthiness.  I try to be grateful that God sent me this husband not only to give me life anew, but to slowly repair all the damage that had been done to me.  At Mass last evening, after communion. I sat and prayed as the Eucharist melted away that each tiny piece, each minuscule fragment of Him would fill the cracks in my soul and heart. I prayed that He would replace the memories of my past with gratefulness and love. I prayed that time spent with my husband wouldn't have to be spent battling my ugly past.

It worked for a while until later last night with hubby sleeping peacefully beside me and as I lay awake in the darkness.  I still feel broken. I still feel used. I still feel unworthy. I still feel damaged. Will all of this ever be healed entirely?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What brings you here?

Lately, I've been learning a lot about search engine optimization and keyword strength and web traffic, etc.  I check the stats on my blog from time to time just to see if anyone is reading.  When I see a big upswing in visitors - I know for sure that Mark Shea of Catholic and Enjoying It fame has charitably mentioned my blog again and I remain grateful for his support. 

When I started this blog, my hope was that a few people would read it, or stumble upon it. I had visions of lonely, scared, pregnant teenage girls reading it and find the strength to tell their parents, "No, I will not have an abortion!"  I'll never know the actual reasons why people visit my blog, but I've discovered one interesting trend in my stats concerning keyword searches that bring traffic to my blog.  By far, the largest amount traffic that arrives on my blog comes from people who search for "11 week ultrasound" or some variation of that phrase.  Those words far outrank any other keyword in my traffic. 

It started me thinking - are those web searchers currently pregnant and just curious as to what an 11 week old baby looks like?  My hope is that if it's someone who is pregnant and contemplating an abortion, that they find that ultrasound picture and it changes their mind.  I can't really bring myself to think about if I was given that option before my abortion - it makes me too angry and leads me to spiral to a very dark place.  But, if one person is Googling "11 week ultrasound" to decide on whether to have an abortion or not, I'm glad they were led here and I hope to God they read some part of my blog and at least pause for a moment and rethink things.

It also causes me to wonder about something else... since deciding to go on the March for Life this year and the anxiety I'm having about it, mostly over what some people will stupidly sputter and the ugly signs they will blow up billboard size and carry - I tend to think that pictures of an 11 week ultrasound or whatever week - would be so much more effective.  I don't think showing people what an aborted baby looks like has as much of an impact as showing them what an actual living, breathing, baby with a heart beat looks like before the violence of an abortion.  Those are the signs people should carry outside of abortion clinics and on Marches for Life - show everyone life - and how beautiful and wonderful and ridiculously awesome God is with those beautiful pictures.

Also interesting is down the list of search keywords bringing traffic to my blog is "non communicating uterine horn" and "unicornuate uterus" which leads me to think that my condition is not as rare as the medical community purports it to be.  Interesting...

Moms Are Many In One

Many thanks to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf over at his blog What Does That Prayer Really Say for the post he wrote today with a great article about fetal cells that are left behind in the body of the mother.

Our Selves, Other Cells

Quite a few times during my Project Rachel counseling - this concept - microchimerism - has come up.  It's a fancy word for when cells of one person mingle with another person.  The article states the word comes from the Greek word for a mythological animal that is made up of several different animals - a Chimera.  It seems science is just starting to scratch the surface of the whole idea.  But, this article does a nice job of summarizing them and dumbing them down sufficiently enough for even me to understand.

The basic premise is that some fetal cells from any pregnancy, whether the child is brought to term, lost to miscarriage, or lost to abortion remain present in the mother's body - forever.  These cells are even then passed on to other children the woman may have, so my daughters carry some cells from their sister they don't even know about in their bodies, and their children will carry them, and so on and so on and ...

The repercussions of the scientific facts are mind boggling and awe inspiring.  The article goes on to explain the positive and negative effects these cells have on the mother.  For my purposes though, the reality of cells left over from each of my pregnancies lingering around in my make up explain a lot. 

When I wonder why I can't seem to let this whole "I'm post abortive" thing go.  Why I'm unable to resist the gentle nudges of the Holy Spirit to perform acts of positive and healing redemption.  Why now that I've opened my heart and soul up to Grace that there are moments when I can feel her.  That presence takes many forms.  For instance, right now it takes the form of tears streaming down my face as I again ponder the words of PJP II, "...nothing is definitively lost." 

Not only is nothing definitively lost, it's definitively still here.  She's here...inside of me. I carry her with me even now.  I carried her with me when I ignored her.  I carried her with me when I tried to run away from the very idea of her.  I have carried her with me every day since that day all those years ago.  I carry her with me just like I carry my other two within me. 

When I have those thoughts that I'm in this struggle completely and utterly alone, that it's my cross to bear and not my husband's because it was before I even knew him, that she is not part of my family now - I'm completely wrong.  I'm never alone.  One thing is for sure, once you become a mother, you are guaranteed to never, ever be alone again.

Monday, January 2, 2012

"...they are no more."

From Father Byers comes a moving and inspiring message about the Holy Innocents - and contained therein is a message for and about women who have had an abortion and seek redemption and what that redemption has the power to do.  Much like PJP II's loving message the postabortive woman, Fr. Byers' is loving, tender and hopeful - as all messages to the postabortive should be because of what they could and do bring about if offered.  You can read his full text here...
Rachel Derobe les Idoles de Son Pere

Father George David Byers of Holy Souls Hermitage.
Following is the part I loved the most...
"Women who have had an abortion are not abandoned by our Lord. They also can and do[!] find healing, though, in this world, refusing to be consoled, since “they are no more.” There is no sin that is too great for our Lord to forgive. If there were such a sin, we would be God, wouldn’t we? For we would then be more powerful than God. No. Instead, He is good and kind. He knows that killing our children is what we do in our fallen human nature. He knows that this is the reverse of being His image, which He created us to be. Knowing this, He sent His only Son to take on what we deserve, death, so as to have the right in all justice to have mercy on us. God can and does forgive: “Father, forgive them!” is what our demanded on the Cross! Yes, women who repent of their abortions can and do[!] find forgiveness and downright enthusiastic friendship with our Lord both in this life and the life to come. That they “refuse to be consoled” is one of those things from which our Lord draws great good. Women who have had an abortion note other children who would be the same age as their own children had they not been aborted. This can go on for a lifetime. HOWEVER, this is not an invitation to get depressed and go into despair. Instead, it is an opportunity to calmly pray for the conversion of women about to have an abortion or who have had an abortion. It is an opportunity to pray for the conversion of abortionists and for politicians. We are enjoined to pray for our rulers, that we might have peace upon the earth. I’m guessing that most of such prayer goes up before the throne of God, like a pleasing incense, as sent by women who have repented of their abortions and who are now friends with our Lord Jesus, who, by His grace, has claimed them for a heavenly eternity. Very awesome, that."